M&M Fixation example

Here’s a simple experiment one can actually try. Take a bag of M&M’s, and without peeking reach in and grab one. Eat it. Then grab another and return it to the bag with another one, from a separate bag, of the same colour. Give it a shake. I guarantee (and if you tell me how big your bag is I’ll have a bet on how long it’ll take) that your bag will end up containing only one colour. Every time. I can’t tell you which colour it will be, but fixation will happen.

This particular version was inspired by a discussion hosted on The Skeptical Zone. This version replaces and updates the version on that page.

Here we start with a bag of "colors" and perform the process above on them. As each color is removed from the population the generation it was removed in is shown. The right hand side of the line chart shows current data, which then changes to sampled data on the left. This allows the entire history to be shown on a single graph.